by Freddie Gomez
[Left:: Early 1940s - using the same system of ropes and pulleys as in the 1700’s, a spare 9.2 barrel is towed up the hill to O’Hara’s Battery which sands at 1,374 feet above sea level Photo; Page 33. Number 21 “After the Battle” 1978.]
Tunnels were continuously being cut but mostly to interconnect stores inside the Rock which had been constructed by enlarging the crevices and caves that were there within the limestone rock. But another attempt at capturing Gibraltar - of which there had already been a few - could not be disregarded, so the military decided to take advantage of the Rock's height which served as a superb vantage point on which to construct batteries . Most of the batteries were constructed on the western fringes of the upper Rock from which the military had overall control of the isthmus and the bay. But it was a task that took 30 years to accomplish. Works on the enterprise commenced in 1749 from Engineer Rd (present day road leading to the Upper Rock) and continued all the way to Signal Station Rd ending at the Rock's northern summit. And there at that very top the first summit battery was emplaced. It was named Rock Gun Battery.
It was, however, a tremendous undertaking that demanded a laborious and strenuous effort which probably would not have been possible without the convict labour that was there at the disposal of the military command.
At present most of these rings are denoted by a yellow painted rectangular (square) Photo Queen's Road. Upper Rock
1790 Path - a short cut to St Michael's Cave - avoided congestion of personnel with objects, such as cannons, that were being towed to the summit. The path also provided concealment for movement of troops to the upper reaches of the Rock, (present day - the shrubbery on the left hand side of the inclining path was removed for the installation of a main line pipe
Douglas Path, a path cut by convict labour on the upper fringes of the rock that served the same purpose as the 1790 path
Bottom of Signal Station Road: Where the last of the rings - used for the removal of the 1700's cannons which were replaced by WW2 guns - was positioned embedded in the Rock.
The top of Douglas Path."Sentry Box" (Tower) This little sentry tower which was at one time believed to be a Moorish structure, appears to have been constructed during the British occupation of Gibraltar. It appears to have been built with recycled material of a previous structure at the location.